Ball Rankin recommended to build new specatator facility
A team of City staff and councillors examining three proposals to design and build a new downtown spectator facility is recommending the job be given to local construction firm Ball/Rankin.
It's design came through as the winner, meeting all of the items on the city's wishlist including coming in at the $45-million price tag.
Other details of the design include 4,500 seats for Niagara IceDogs hockey games and up to 6,000 seats for a concert event. Another bonus for the city, Ball/Rankin is donating the pedestrian bridges to St. Paul St.
While the city will be covering most of the cost of the facilty, the company set to manage the building, SMG Canada, will be chipping in $1-million to help with the construction costs.
Ball Rankin still has one more hurdle to deal with. City council still has to give its approval of the bid. That will happen at the council meeting on October 29.
St. Catharines mayor Brian McMullan likes the recommended bid but says council will spend the next few days going over the staff report just to be certain everything is in order.
McMullin says one of the benefits of Ball Rankin's bid is the fast turnover of this project.
"This is a design-build process. It has a very fast timeframe in that construction will literally start at the end of November...and open for September 2014,'' he says.
McMullan adds "Ball Rankin says it can meet the date."
For his part, Tom Rankin, CEO of St. Catharines based Rankin Construction, is thrilled his company has been given the nod.
"We've been on pins and needles for a long time," says Rankin.
He says it was a difficult proposal to put together and admits, at one point, they were sitting $2-million over budget. They altered the design, got some union concessions and decided to donate the two pedestrian bridges that will link St. Paul St. to the building.
Asked if he'd be interested in having the new facility named after him, Rankin says he'd be "happy just to have one of the bridges named for us."
Also thrilled with Friday's annoucement is Bill Burke, owner of the Niagara IceDogs.
Burke tells 610 CKTB the design is beautiful
"I think it's amazing and I think it's going to be the greatest facility in the CHL!"
He says the design fits all of the team's requirements and he's eager to see the building built.
Rankin believe construction will begin by late November or early December, once final clearance is given by city council.
To see the staff report, click here